What is Net neutrality?
Net Neutrality is the principle that Internet service providers and governments should treat all data on the Internet the same, not discriminating or charging differentially by user, content, site, platform, application, type of attached equipment, or mode of communication. It is one of the fundamental principle due to which Internet exists in the form we see today.
About 1 year ago, when Internet.org was launched in India, many netizens protested and stopped it as it was against the net neutrality. Facebook was shocked by this response. So, the marketing department of Facebook renamed it to ‘FREE BASICS’ and relaunched as they thought Indians will never say ‘no’ to anything which is given for free.
Free basics give free internet access to Facebook and few other internet services approved by Facebook.The internet market growth is getting saturated in the western world as most people are already using internet. India and other Asian countries have a large untapped population who are yet to use internet. Facebook wants to acquire these users by any means possible. One easy way to make Facebook popular among these users is to give it for free.
Do you know how drug-agents get college students addicted to their drugs? They first give it for completely free. Then once the students get addicted to it, they start charging them heftily.
Free basics is launched for Facebook’s best interests. Otherwise why are they so pushy about this and investing millions for the ad campaign itself, when people are clearly protesting against it? Reliance – the official network partner of Free basics advertises it as ‘Free Facebook’ on newspapers.
The things which may look basic now may not be basic in next 10 years. By giving Facebook control of which apps to give for free, we are creating a monopoly. New startups won’t be able to compete as everyone will use the Facebook’s free alternative.
Facebook or Whatsapp wasn’t a basic internet service 10 years ago. If some other company X had offered their service free from past 15 years then facebook/whatsapp wouldn’t have even existed.